The North-Eastern Hill University, Shillong joined the rest of the country in observing International Mother Tongue Day on February 21, 2019 by organizing a programme in the Conference Room, Administrative Building.
The programme was organized by Hindi Cell and attended by the Registrar, Finance Officer, Controller of Examinations, Librarian, officers and staff of NEHU.
In his speech, Dr. J.N. Nayak, Registrar said that the government of India realized that other languages cannot flourish unless steps are taken to develop them. Hence such initiatives like the International Mother Tongue Day are very much needed. He also recited a couplet in his mother tongue, Oriya.
Mr. L.M.K. Lyngrah, Finance Officer cited the examples of the Roman Catholic brothers who use the process of acculturation to foster good relationships among their flock. He also suggested the idea of organizing an essay competition on any topic in the writer’s own mother tongue along with a translation to foster closeness among the University community.
Mr. Debasish Chowdhury, Controller of Examinations, gave a brief background about the genesis of International Mother Tongue Day which was the initiative of Bangladesh. It was approved at the 1999 UNESCO General Conference and has been observed throughout the world since 2000, he informed. He also informed that half a dozen languages disappear every year and that Mother Tongue Day is a reminder that these endangered languages should be revived. He further recited two lines from Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore’s 'Shillong-er Chithi' ('Letter from Shillong'),in Bengali to underline the importance of pride in one’s own mother tongue which also bestows in that person the respect for the languages of others.
Dr. F. R. Sumer, Librarian thanked the Hindi Cell in his mother tongue i.e. Khasi for organizing the programme which will go a long way in fostering closeness with others.
The programme concluded with a vote of thanks by Mr. A.K. Singh from Hindi Cell.